[IMGCAP(1)]Everywhere you turn, people are talking about the next generation: Millennials, Generation Y, Nexters.

Whatever you want to call us, it’s apparent that we’re “infamous,” and what’s even more interesting is that we’ve only just begun to enter your workforce!

Like everyone else in my generation, I’ve heard the stories and read the reports saying that Millennials are lazy, that we act entitled and expect too much in return for our small amount of experience. The truth: I love my job! I love being a CPA. I love being an auditor. And I, like so many of my Millennial counterparts, am ready to face the hard work needed to succeed in today’s business environment.

I’m sure many of the Boomers (and even Gen Xers) reading this article are shaking their heads and wondering if I plan to post this statement to my Facebook wall or even tweet it to my circle of “followers.” Besides, social networking is all that the Millennials really do, right? Actually, we are the hardest workers you’ll ever be faced with managing.

We know technology in and out and are not afraid to leverage this knowledge in order to work smarter. Everyone knows that Millennials were born with a computer in their cribs. OK, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but we have always had computers and don’t know a world without technology. Although many people think that we are lazy and are always pushing for more work-life balance, the reality is that we want to use our technical knowledge to work smarter.

Given the opportunity, many firms can use the knowledge of Millennials to help leadership teams integrate these technology advances to improve processes and improve client deliverables. Personally, my technical “savvy” allows me to make a bigger impact within my firm. Because of my flexibility with various programs, I am frequently asked to participate in outside projects for the firm, including database creation and detailed Excel analysis deliverables.

We are eager for success and want to be challenged by the next project. In fact, we can be pretty competitive in this regard.

What you may not know is that Millennials have a strong work ethic and are goal driven. My motto: Give me the work and let me do it — I’ll impress you, I promise! That alone takes me to my next point, which is that Millennials are eager for success and enjoy a challenge.

If I were to look back at why I joined this profession, why I became an auditor, it was because I wanted the challenge. I knew accounting was a tough degree and that it would be hard to get my masters, but you’re looking at a girl who scored a 97 on the CPA exam. I don’t just want a challenge; I want to be the best.

Since joining my firm three years ago, I have been diligent about taking on projects that will progressively grow my career. Starting as a staff auditor, I quickly moved to a supervisory position within two-and-a-half years. If my actions can speak for my generation, then you should know that Millennials are eager for the work and eager to make an impression at your firm.

We know that strong relationships are the key to professional success and we want to be in front of the client.

Many people like to ask, “Do Millennials really understand how to build relationships, or do they only communicate online or via text message?” This is the greatest debate regarding the Millennials, in my opinion. Of course this generation knows how to build lasting client relationships and of course we like to use technology to further build those relationships. It seems that the Millennials’ high comfort using technology hurts our perceived ability to network and interact with people face-to-face.

Personally, I enjoy meeting clients and establishing a strong rapport with them. I’ve always understood that it’s important to be a strong, independent auditor, but I also know that it’s important for my career to truly give high customer service. This means that I put in the time to share industry information with clients that may be important to their position, such as regulation updates and changes to audit standards.

Most Millennials will tell you that we can and will go this extra mile. However, many like use e-blast, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, you name it. Why not? Communication is changing and many Millennials know how to work both sides of the new business landscape.

You can say that Millennials are impatient, and I don’t think many would argue, but we are confident as well. I want to be rewarded, not for my hard work, but for my successes — for my ability to do well for my firm. As leadership teams set goals/objectives at the office this year, they should remember Millennials have a can-do attitude. We think we can “leap tall buildings in a single bound.” It’s hard to believe, but in the next 20 years Millennials will be the majority in the workforce. Watch out, world, our way of working will soon be the norm.

Sangeeta Motwani serves as assurance supervisor for McConnell & Jones LLP, one of the largest CPA firms in Houston. With more than seven years of diverse experience in accounting and auditing services, Motwani serves a variety of industries, including commercial, tax-exempt and governmental sectors. In her current role, she is primarily responsible for managing fieldwork, supervising onsite audit teams, and ensuring audit report compliance.

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